Commuters and traders at Mararaba bus stop in Nasarawa, have breathed a sigh of relief following the sudden disappearance of pick pockets in the area.
An investigation carried out by our correspondent recently showed that the traffic hold-ups witnessed in the early hours of the day, as a result of the activities of hoodlums at the bus stop had subsided.
Mr Njoku Uwalaka, a road side trader at the bus stop, told newsmen “I am happy that the notorious incident of pick pockets at this bus stop, have reduced considerably.’’
“The regular complaints of handset, hand-bag and wallet snatching have not been so rampant for about two months now. In fact, it is a brand new turn of events.
“For some few years, I have been operating here, there have been rampant cases of hand sets, hand bags and wallets snatching by hoodlums at this bus stop, and that gave this place a very bad name anywhere you go.
He said that for about two months now “we have heaved a sigh of relief because the frequent lamentations by commuters and our customers have subsided”.
Uwalaka noted that the experience was as a result of the presence of policemen positioned at the spot every morning and evening, as they always monitor the movement of people at those peak periods.
“I want to believe that the situation would be sustained and even improved upon by the police to bring sanity to this Mararaba bus stop in particular,” he said.
Mr Nelson Emmanuel, a commercial bus operator, told newsmen at the bus stop that his passengers lost handsets to the pickpockets in April.
“The hoodlums, who always pose as commuters, snatched the handsets at hold-ups through the window of the vehicle and disappeared.
“We are now happy, because in the past one month, the situation has changed since the police have been taking positions at this bus stop to check the menace,” he said.
On the contrary, Miss Favour Okorie, a student of Nasarawa State University, Lafia, was of the opinion that the situation has not changed as “the pick pockets are still around.”
“Just last week, I was coming with a bike from Ado to this bus stop, I didn’t know that one boy was pursuing me, it was when I got down, I noticed that the boy was after me to snatch my handset.
“I quickly changed the position of my handset, so as he couldn’t reach me again, he changed direction and moved away.
Okorie said that another experience she had was when she arrived the bus stop under the pedestrian bridge that same week, two men attempted to snatch her hand
Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty
The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Rivers State Government to dredge the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty to enhance marine operations.
The union said the low shore of the river hampers its operations and grounds boats.
The Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Don, who made the call, said the low shore of the jetty was not helpful to marine operations.
According to him, drivers and passengers find it difficult to ply the route whenever the tide is low, thus wasting man hours.
“Sometimes, we push the boat to a level it would afloat due to low tide suffered in the jetty. We are appealing to NIMASA and the state government to assist and dredge the jetty for more efficiency”, he pleaded.
Don described the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty as the gateway to Bonny Island and other riverine communities, and called on NIMASA and the state government to intervene and make the marine sector viable in the area.
He said that the prompt dredging of the jetty would enhance water transportation in the state and improve its revenue generation.
He, however, commended the security agents, especially the Nigerian Navy and the marine police, for rescuing the waterways and creeks from all forms of criminality.
Comrade Don appealed to the security agents to engage in 24-hour patrol of the routes and other channels to save lives and property.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations
A renowned ship owner in the country, Alhaji Aminu Umar, has decried lack of standardisation and enforcement of safety measures on the nation’s inland waterways by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He also blamed lack of will to enforce regulations, safety, standard and regulations on overloading, night voyage, rickety and old craft as causes of mishap on the inland waterways.
Alhaji Umar, who is a former president, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), said in Minna, Niger State, recently that enforcement of safety and standard on the nation’s inland waterways was weak.
Reacting to incessant boat mishaps in the country, Umar said, “there is no standard applied on movement of people, as all kinds of boat are being used. It is important that we standardise, because lack of safety and standard will increase accident.
“I think, the task of NIWA is to standardise conditions and procedures on the nation’s waterways”.
He also called for the regulation of movement of badges and passenger boats across the port environment.
“It’s a huge risk allowing badges moving containers around the port area side by side with boats carrying passengers.
“Moving people and containers at the same time is a huge risk, and a safety concern.
“NIWA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should see to this and tackle the menace”, he said.
Another Two Ships Arrive Onne Port, Today
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says two ships laden with cargoes will arrive Onne Port in Rivers State today.
This was contained in its weekly Shipping Position made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
The shipping position gave the names of the vessels as UAL Bodewes and SI Osiris, scheduled to berth at the port.
The statement also gave the names of the shipping agents as Interservice Nig Limited and Alraine Shipping.
The ships, according to the statement, were laden with oil well tools/containers and general cargoes.
The ships are expected to berth at the Brawal Federal Light Terminal (FLT) Berth 1B and Brawal FLT Berth 1A in Rivers State.
The length of the vessels was, however, not indicated in the shipping position.
By: Chinedu Wosu
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